Packers 2018 Draft: Pros and cons of every top prospect

MADISON, WI - NOVEMBER 11: Joshua Jackson
MADISON, WI - NOVEMBER 11: Joshua Jackson /
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4. Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa

Pros: Jackson is coming off a ridiculous season at Iowa. He shattered records when he snagged eight interceptions and defended a whopping 27 passes last year. His remarkable ability to defend the pass over the course of last season isn’t random, and won’t suddenly go away in the NFL. Jackson played receiver both in high school and briefly at Iowa, giving him knowledge of basic route trees and can mirror the steps of receivers.

Jackson is a consistent, reliable defender who excels in the short yardage passing situations. He’s a big presence at 6-foot-1 and can leap high into the air to challenge 50-50 balls. Jackson also avoids pass interference penalties better than most college prospects and almost always challenges the football without going through the receiver.

Cons: Jackson’s stock took a hit at the combine. His average 40-time of 4.56 likely shoved him out of the top-12, and possibly into the Packers’ lap. Jackson’s poor speed at the combine wasn’t a bad day for him either. His only weakness as a cornerback is his long speed.

Jackson needs a long runway to get to top speed and doesn’t recover well if he loses a step on a receiver. The NFC features speedsters Brandin Cooks, Stefon Diggs, Paul Richardson and others. Having a corner who can’t keep up is a concern, and would force Mike Pettine to conform his defense around Jackson. Speed doesn’t necessarily improve over time, and Jackson’s sluggish movement would be the only reason the Packers don’t end up taking him.